28th January, 2018
Playing against Barcelona one on one has always been a difficult enough exercise because of the way they tend to keep the ball to themselves most of the time. So, when you make the mistake of losing one of your men in a game against them, well your chances of even getting a draw out of that game is virtually impossible.
That is surely one of the lessons Girona learnt in their match-up against Barcelona on Sunday as they got taught some real footballing lesson by their more popular and exposed neighbours from Catalonia.
Captain “Marvellous Messi” and Nelson Semedo and earned Barcelona a 2-0 win in the Catalan derby over Girona on Sunday, but there were several other impressive performers in the victory and some who didn’t shine as bright as they normally do.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen was surely one of the best players as a result of his impressive saves and the fact that he got the team going forward for the second goal.
Right here below, we take a look at how the Barcelona players fared in this game.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen
He kept Barcelona ahead with some good saves and then turned creator from deep for the second.
Not only was he solid in defence, but he scored the opener with a rare appearance in the opposition’s danger area.
He wasn’t at his best and it was noticeable, but he did okay and even denied a goal on the line.
He was beaten on a number of occasions and most of Girona’s chances came with him as the focal point.
Unusually, he wasn’t as involved as he normally is, even if he did get an assist to set up the second goal.
He was another who wasn’t quite at his normal level and he made strange decisions in the final third.
It was an uncomfortable afternoon for the midfielder, picking up a yellow card that ruled him out of next weekend’s match.
His intensity wasn’t enough and, despite his hard work, he didn’t do much with the ball.
The Argentine showed his desire in the first half and his effort told in the second when he got his goal.
Like many of his teammates, he wasn’t on his game and lacked precision.
It was yet another worrying performance from the Brazilian, who is looking more and more like a square peg in a round hole, but an expensive one.
He improved the team when he came on for Arturo Vidal and he helped Barcelona to keep the ball when that was what they needed most.
He was a late arrival to prevent Lenglet picking up a second yellow card.
He only featured for a few minutes and he might have a bigger role to play against Sevilla on Wednesday.
He reverted to his strongest XI, but you couldn’t tell as some of his stars didn’t quite shine.